Celebrating International Year of the Nurse at Mulgrave Private Hospital
With Novel Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic upon us, it has never been more important for us to acknowledge the essential and incredible role that nurses play in contributing to patients - and to the health and care of the global population.
Nurse in the spotlight: Justine Wilkinson
A longstanding member of the Mulgrave Private Hospital family, Justine has been nursing for 29 years, of which the past 24 years have been at Mulgrave Private Hospital.
Justine works as a stomal therapy nurse. When asked what being a nurse means to her, Justine provides a beautiful description;
Nursing is about caring, communication, having fun and enjoying your work environment. It is being able to recognise your strengths and weaknesses, ask for help, accept good and bad days, seeing patients recover but also sharing grief with families and your work colleagues.
- What do you enjoy most about your job?
Stomal therapy is a diverse role - it is ostomy management, counselling pre and post surgery, complex wound management, troubleshooting with staff, pressure injury prevention and management, education to patient's/ family/carers/ staff and post discharge support.
The role is rewarding and challenging. Support from my peers and the hospital is a necessity as I am a sole practitioner and I need work friendships to keep me going on those days that are emotionally draining.
I have had the ability to work part time hours that enabled me to be a Mum and a nurse.
- Tell us about your nursing journey and experiences:
My nursing training was hospital based then I converted to a degree several years later. Many of the girls I trained with are still my closest friends and living and working with them at a young age creates a bond and a life long friendship. My training was so much fun and the ability to learn in the class room then put into practice your knowledge and skills immediately gave you the confidence required to ensure your patient's received safe and competent nursing care.
Stomal Therapy was never an avenue I had contemplated. I arrived at Mulgrave Private Hospital and started work as a CNS on the original Burnet ward. It was a heavy, busy colorectal, orthopaedic, thoracic and general surgical ward. I had been working on a colorectal ward at a public hospital so I was familiar with colorectal nursing. I was very fortunate to be offered funding by the hospital to complete the Stomal Therapy course and be a "back up" for the existing stomal therapist. She recognised that I would enjoy the challenges and thrive and she was indeed correct. I am so happy that this is the field of nursing I followed.
- What or who inspired you to become a nurse? I never had any direct inspirations but my Mum has told me that when I was little I would say " I want to be a hospital girl." Nursing was just something I always wanted to do.
- What are your proudest nursing achievements? I can't define any one achievement. I just feel fortunate to work in an area I love.
Mulgrave Private Hospital is lucky to have the brilliantly talented and experienced Justine - she is a wonderful asset to the hospital community.
Justine also contributes to the hospital's culture and continuous improvement through her active participation in the hospital's employee engagement committee.